Glorifying God through Difficult Times
We all experience difficult times in our lives. In Isaiah 48, the Israelites were experiencing a very difficult time. Their temple, the dwelling place of God had been utterly destroyed by the Babylonians in 586BC. Many of them started doubting God’s faithfulness. In this chapter God reveals to us that we should still glorify Him amidst our sufferings because of 3 reasons.
1. God is always in control.
Isaiah 48:3 “I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.”
Everything that is happening is under God’s control. God actually prophesied the destruction of the temple (Jeremiah 25:11). He is using it as a means to bring Israel back to Him because of their idolatrous hearts. Sometimes it is through suffering that brings us closer to God. Everything, whether good or bad, happens in our lives for a reason. His ultimate goal for all this is to make us holy and bring us closer to Him.
2. God has been faithful in the past.
Isaiah 48:4 For I knew how stubborn you were; your neck muscles were iron, your forehead was bronze.
God called the Israelites stiff-necked people multiple times. God has consistently proven Himself faithful and delivered them in the past. But whenever they are faced with new challenges, they easily forget how God has delivered them and instead focus on the problem in front of them. This happens to us as well. When we are faced with difficulty, we have to look back and remember God’s faithfulness in the past. We may not know how He will deliver us in our current circumstance but we can trust that He will because He has delivered us before.
3. God cares about His glory more than anything else.
Isaiah 48:9, 11 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely… For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
We must pay careful attention whenever something is repeated in the Bible. The phrase “for my own sake” is repeated 3 times. Above all, God cares for His glory the most. He is delivering the Israelites, not because they did anything good, but because He wants His glory to be known. Whenever we face our own difficulties, let us remember that it is all for the glory of God. Let us pray and ask God how He can use our suffering for His glory.
～Min. David Or柯啟洋傳道～